Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tribute to Kaviarasu Kannadasan

Today is the late poet, Kaviarasu Kannadasan's birthday. Should he been alive, he would have be 82 years old and would have contributed more to Tamil arts and literature.

His last song was written for the Movie "Moondram Pirai"-"Kanne Kalaimane" .(Released in 1982). Directed by Balu Mahendra and starred by big names like Kamalhassan and Sridevi.

I still remember last year, on this very same date, Tamil Radio stations played his numbers almost the whole day and there were slots dedicated for his famous songs. It is a pity, I didn’t hear any such songs this morning. I have been listening to radio since 6am and there was nothing played in tribute to him. Not even a word about him. What has the world come to? Personally, I am disgusted by this. More can be done. *SIGH* The younger generation should know about him and his achievements. Its not all about just knowing “nakku mukka”. Our Tamil media should play a more vital role in educating the younger generation of our very own literature.

I personally grew up listening to his songs and also Appa is his ardent fan. Appa sings his songs well and he actually encouraged me to listen to the lyrics and made me realize how similar they are to real life incidents. My passion to listen to this man’s songs grew stronger especially those motivational ones. They keep me moving. I still listen to them whenever I need to courage to move on.

Off course my grandpa played the initial role in introducing me to Kannadasan’s songs without even his knowledge and also I was at an age so young that I knew nothing about Tamil songs. He used to sing the famous “Ponnal Pogathum Poda” and also “Kan Ponna Pokkile”. Not to forget my grandpa’s all time favourite “Veedu Varai Uravu”. I still remember laughing at him for singing such songs and to me at that time, those lyrics were really funny and he had told me "one day you will know". Now I know and realize, those are the real songs of life!.

Kaviarasu Kannadasan had written all his songs based on his own experiences in life. All his songs have their own “history” to it. I am not at all Tamil educated. Indeed, I would say proudly that listening to his songs made me learn Tamil. It all started with the song from “Balle Pandiya”-“Valle ninaithal vallelam”. Then there was no looking back for me.

How can one forget the great ‘ Kai’ Song ‘ Athhikkai Kaai kaai’ in Balae Paandiya? Or the ‘Androru Naal Idhe Nilavil Avar irundar en arugil’ in the film ‘Nadodi ‘

He came up with the song ‘ Athhikkai Kaai kaai’ based on a real life situation that he had observed on a newly wed bride who was separated from her husband since he needs to be in the battle field shortly after the wedding. On the full moon day, the lady, is thinking about her husband and feeling lonely without him on a romantic night. She requests moon ‘I am always remembering him but not sure about how he feels. Already I am sore without him… you also do not add to my suffering with your full radiance instead of glowing here, you shower your moon light on the direction where my husband is so that he also gets romantic mood and gets back to me’ This is what the song ‘Athikkaai kaai kaai Aalangai Vennilavae’ means. Athikkai is fig. Also it means “glow in that direction” ( thikku in tamil means direction / side). What a great song.. full of name of various vegetables. At the same time, has got a different meaning in chaste tamil. Can we find anymore such songs?

He was at his best when he wrote lyrics on the philosophy of cycles of life. Let me reminisce on some of his most popular compositions in my blog. It is a pity that Kannadasan's verses has not been translated into other languages yet. Not any that I know of at least. I have made an elementary effort here (to my level best), while not attempting a literal translation.

Ponal pohattum poda - intha poomiyil nilaiyai vazhnthavar yaarada Vanthathu theriyum povathu enge vaasal namakke theriyathu Vanthavarellam thanki viddal - intha mannil namakke idamtethu Vazhkai enpathu viyaparam - varum jananam enpathu varavahum - athil maranam enpathu selavaahum.

Let the passions and bonds pass-by Who has lived in this land forever? Path of arrival is known - but Path of departure and the route unknown. If all who came opt to stay Where's the space in this sphere? Life is just a business -in which the birth is credit and death is debit

Veedu varai uravu Veethi varai manaivi Kaadu varai pillai kadaisi varai yaaro?
The kin, till the house, The wife, till the street, The son, upto the cemetery, Who will come beyond that?

Ullam enpathu aamai - athil unmai enpathu oomai Sollil varuvathu paathi - nenjil thoonki kidappathu neethi.

Mind is like a tortoise - in which the truth hides in silence words can bring out only the half while justice calmly sleeps

There is no replacement for Kaviarasu Kannadasan, that is for sure. ! I will keep on listening to his songs. Will let the younger generation know the importance of his songs and how meaningful they are. They might laugh at me as I laughed at my grandpa. Heck, what goes around comes around right? ;) Well, one day they will also realise just like I did.
Kaviarasu Kannadasan lives forever.

Here is a short write up about him, extracted from Wikipedia.
"Kannadasan (Tamil: கண்ணதாசன்) (24 June 192717 October 1981) was a Tamil poet and lyricist, heralded as one of the greatest and most important writer in the Tamil language. Frequently called Kaviarasu (English: King of Poets), Kannadasan was most familiar for his song lyrics in Tamil films and contributed around 5000 lyrics besides 6000 poems and 232 books,[1] including novels, epics, plays, essays, his most popular being the 10-part religious essay on Hinduism, captioned Arthamulla Indhumatham (English: Meaningful Hinduism). He won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Cheraman Kadali in the year 1980 and was the first ever to receive the National Film Award for Best Lyrics, given in 1969 for the film Kuzhanthaikkaga.

Kannadasan was born in Sirukudalpatti, near Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India as Muthiah. But when he died at the age of 54, on October 16, 1981, millions of Tamils remembered him only by the name Kannadasan. For Tamils all over the world, he epitomised their poetry style. Even those who couldn't read the poetry of Kamban or the maxims of Valluvan, could hum the compositions of poet Kannadasan.

There is no doubt that he had a penetrating eye and keen observational powers. He also did not live a cocoon-type of life. He dipped into everything that Tamil Nadu could offer - wine, women, drugs, politics, polemics, atheism and religious sanctuary. After enjoying everything, what he did was remarkable - he composed verses about all his experiences, with reflective self-deprecating humour, irony, and biting sarcasm. These verses touched the sympathetic chords of Tamils from all walks of life - school boys, undergrads, housewives, farmers, manual labourers, plantation workers, middle class representatives and even upper class elites.

Muthiah was a staunch atheist and a follower of the Dravidian atheistic movement. He had great love for the Tamil language and culture, and excelled in Tamil literature, prose and poetry. He once read the Thiruppavai of Andal, and was amazed at its mystic poetry, that was to have a deep and everlasting impact on him. After a lot of introspection, he decided to reconvert back into Hinduism, christened himself Kannadasan, dug deep into understanding Hinduism, and wrote his series of books on Hinduism.

"Yesu Kaviyam," the epic on the life of Jesus Christ was the last book written by the late Tamil poet laureate, Kannadasan

Kannadasan was a poet Laureate when he died.He wrote a book vanavasam which was published by vanathi publisher

A house in Sirukootalpatti is now a memorial for the Tamil film music's evergreen favourites. The Kannadasan memorial museum was inaugurated on June 25."

1 comment:

  1. One question. How did he get his title- kaviarasu?


Leave your chocolates here :